How Fantasy Becomes Reality

How Fantasy Becomes Reality : Seeing Through Media Influence

3.92 (40 ratings by Goodreads)
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It's a common belief that the stories we encounter through mass media-whether in video games, action movies, or political comedy skits on Saturday Night Live-are just entertaining fantasies that have no tangible impact on our everyday lives, attitudes, and choices. Not so, says Karen Dill in this lively and provocative book. As much as we may want to deny it, the images, sounds, and narratives that bombard us daily have ample power to alter our realities. Dill, the author of the single-most-cited study on the effects of video-game violence, draws on extensive research in social psychology to show not only the myriad ways-for good and ill-that media influence us, but also why we resist believing they do. Vibrantly written and packed with eye-opening examples from everyday life, her wide-ranging analysis encompasses everything from gender and racial stereotyping to social identity, domestic violence, and presidential politics.
She discusses the ways that super-thin models and actresses have altered women's self-images, dissects the manipulative strategies of advertising aimed at children and medical consumers, and explains how the "fake news" of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report may offer more authentic and incisive coverage than the cable channels and network newscasts. She also assesses the growing importance of "new media" like text-messaging, blogs, and Facebook in how we communicate and process information. In a media-saturated society, Dill argues, understanding precisely how these powerful forces affect us and learning how to deal with them are vital to the very way we function as citizens. How Fantasy Becomes Reality shows what we can do to move from the passenger's seat to the driver's seat as media consumers.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 166.9 x 231.9 x 28.2mm | 716.68g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195372085
  • 9780195372083
  • 797,916

Review quote

[Dill] has done a remarkable job in presenting the scientific facts about the huge (often harmful, sometimes helpful) impact that TV, films, video games, and music have on us all, and she has done so in a way that is engaging and easy to understand. Two additional aspects of this book are of particular importance: her science-based explanations of why most people believe that they are not influenced; and her recommendations for how people can take control of the media in their lives rather than continuing to be controlled by the media industries. In my view, this is a 'must read' for anyone who is concerned about the healthy development of children and the future of modern society. Craig A. Anderson, Distinguished Professor of Psychology; Director, Center for the Study of Violence; Iowa State University [Dill] takes complex psychological constructs and explains them in an entertaining, conversational style. For parents and older children, she offers an engaging and accessible discussion of the subtle ways that the pervasive presence of media affects us all...[Dill] provides a comprehensive, yet comprehensible walk through the world of media effects research... Dr. Dill's message focuses not only on the negative side of media, but also on how to create a positive and balanced media diet, especially for children. Media literacy is one part of the solution, and Dr. Dill's concluding message is that we all need to take more control of our media diet. Jeanne Brockmyer, Distinguished University Professor of Psychology, University of Toledo Media, in all their evolving forms, have become the default activities for the 21st century. Dr. Karen Dill's excellent book explains the tremendous impact media have and what we can do. She translates solid science into a highly understandable, readable and enjoyable book. David Walsh, Ph.D. President, National Institute on Media and the Family Finally, an engaging and interesting book college students enjoy reading about the pervasive effects of the media. Brad J. Bushman, Ph.D. Professor of Communication Studies and Psychology, University of Michigan
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About Karen E. Dill

Karen Dill is a social psychologist who has given expert testimony before the United States Congress, lectured internationally as a media psychology expert, and has been interviewed by news outlets worldwide, including the BBC, Time Magazine, USA Today, and Japan's national network, NHK. She teaches at Lenoir-Rhyne University in North Carolina.
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Table of contents

1. Fantasy and Reality: A Primer on Media and Social Construction ; 2. Challenges and Opportunities of Growing Up in a Media-Saturated World ; 3. Media Violence: Scholarship versus Salesmanship ; 4. Media Stereotypes: The Social Construction of Race and Gender ; 5. Fantasy and Reality Revisited: More on How Media Mythologies Shape Our Social Realities ; 6. Advertising, Consumerism, and Health ; 7. Get with the Programming: Media Messages About Who We Are ; 8. The Social Psychology of Political Coverage ; 9. From the Passenger's Seat to the Driver's Seat
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Rating details

40 ratings
3.92 out of 5 stars
5 32% (13)
4 42% (17)
3 12% (5)
2 10% (4)
1 2% (1)
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